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At the age of 4


At the age of 16


Working as a cobbler around the age of 18


Around the age of 19


Papayan's difficult childhood and youth played an instrumental role in his love for comedic playwrighting. Papayan was born on September 15, 1911 in Batumi, Adjara to parents Petros and Grap, who had fled their home in Bitlis due to systemic murders of Armenians perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire. His extended family was killed during the Armenian Genocide. At the age of 15 his father Petros and uncle Hyrapet both died, leaving him to be the source of income for his family. As a result he worked several different jobs, some of which included being a cobbler, gatherer at a tea plantation, construction worker and cargo transporter. Papayan felt that through laughter one can overcome the darkest moments in life. He once said, “Optimistic, healthy laughter enthuses me. My preference for laughter comes from those living, natural and lively sources, from that native cauldron that gives shape to national temperament.”

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